Thursday, June 26, 2008

Home little more than 24 hours when the telephone rings...

It was nearly 11pm our time, not that it was late for us as we were still awake, but it was late for my mom to be calling, near midnight her time...

me: Hello
mom: Before you heard it from someone else, I wanted you to hear it from the horse's mouth. Not only am I the proud owner of a car for the first time in 45 years, but also a car that rolls.

badum dum

mom: I'm in the emergency room. Lynn (my sister) is here. I'm okay. They had to cut me out. The car is totalled. But I am okay. They're keeping me overnight for observation. Just in case. My cell is going to run out. Lynn will take me home tomorrow and I will call you once I am home again. Or Lynn will call you if they decide to keep me for anything. I'm okay.

Each of the above sentences was said with about 10 seconds or so of dead air between them. My mom waited for my interruptions but I had none. I can't lecture her from Texas with any different result than if I was there, so I just let her listen to my silence. I am not sure this changes anything. She will likely just get another car.

I wonder what time this all happened. I wonder if her first thought was of me telling her a couple weeks ago that she needed to drive judiciously as to not waste gas and to drive when she is most alert, like early in the day. And to remember that she can't be running around as she did 10 years ago when she last drove on a regular basis.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Are we there yet?

I have taken zero notes along the way, and very few pictures, like, none except those my mother specifically asked for. S.l.a.c.k.e.r...

The only thing I can say about the 9 days pried away from Dear Sweet Elizabeth at the moment is in reference to it nearly being over.

It's all good.

Look for a recap sort of post soon. Maybe by the weekend.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Travel day tomorrow

We shall leave the house at 5 am. Sucky. Our flight is at 630 through Chicago arriving in Albany around 1230. That would be me and chef, not me and eb. Apart for 9 days. Sucky. We meet up with C-man at the airport and pick up the rental car to drive 2 and a half hours up the Northway to Wilmington. We should get there by 4 on the outside, likely closer to 3. And the C-man is not okay with any of this. Losing his poppy has hit him hard and he is in shock I think. This is the first death he has had to deal with and he is totally put out about it. Should make for a week of interesting discoveries.

I plan to hike up to Coperas (sp?) Pond and just take it all in a meditational-communing-with-the-Universe sort of way and C-man is none too happy about that either but it is my highest hope that he will join me.
I would also like to drive over to Highland Lodge in VT for lunch one day with my mom and the boys too, if they care to go.

Other than those two things, I have no agenda. None other than knitting.

This will become a Clapotis. It is Fleece Artist Casbah that was purchased at Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on Bainbridge Island (Seattle leg of the last trip).

This is begging to become a
My So Called Scarf. The wool is Manos del Uruguay and is the yarn featured in the pattern. The short color runs are perfect for this herringbone stitch and this is a scarf I love to knit. The yarn was a gift from Mama D (aka Prunella)and it is totally perfect for my knitting needs this week as it was infused by her touch with the bestest energy ever.

I will also bring a few of the projects I am in need of finishing. Like yesterday. Hopefully they will get finished because they all need to be mailed (well three of them, to two places)the day I get back. There are 2 baby sweaters and the gayest baby blanket/shawl you have ever seen which I will post pics of as soon as it is done. I will also bring the socks I am working on because they are good plane knitting. If there is room, I am also including the chemo caps I am promised to do for charity.

If inspiration strikes and time permits, I will get started on stories of my friend Loretta. She has been brewing in my head since before finishing the boy I once knew.

I will post over the next 9 days if I can. Until my return, please help keep Dear Sweet Elizabeth out of trouble.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Today was the day

My dad drew his final breath early this morning. Updating en masse here is easier than emailing, but I will be emailing as I can throughout the week. Chef and I will be flying up there next Sunday and the services are Monday. We will stay through the following Tuesday. Arrangements still need to be made for my younger son to get up there, and I am sure that will all work itself out.

Thanks to everyone for your support and emails. They really mean a lot to me. Updates to follow.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

They are

Of the negatives of my dad's that I have made it through so far, 720 to be precise, this is by far one of my favorites. I have an actual print of it that my dad made some fifty or so years ago framed and on the shelf. It is of my dad and my Uncle Arthur. I can't help but think of Paul Lynde when I say that. My dad has his younger brother in his lap.

Several of the pics in this series have calendars in them and when I zoom in I see they all fall between 1952 and 1956 which puts my dad between 25 and 30 in any of the photographs. It could be that some of the negatives fall outside these years, but it is a fair enough estimate.

I made a few magnets with some of his pics and a postcard through Great fun.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The elevator was full of competing colognes...

I got into the elevator at work this morning with four men and one woman. Four men who wore four different colognes and wore them loudly. And then the ascent began. We stopped on three, then four, then five and finally I was alone in the elevator for the trip from five to six. Alone with the eau de cologne. I need to practice holding my breath.

In other dad is dieing. He's eighty and led a full life. Apparently he was in the hospital about two months ago. Don't you just love parents who have poor communication skills? At that time, Arnold weighted in at about 145. When I last saw him, March 2007, I think he was about 180 and that was thin enough to see his bony knees as his jeans draped over his crossed legs.

Last week, he was readmitted to the hospital and he informed the staff that he would not be returning home. Whether he died there or they sent him to a nursing home or hospice was up to them. His weight upon admission was 122. The doctor decided to do an MRI to see if there was anything new going on. I don't know if my dad had had one previously, not that I can recall hearing about, but there is that ongoing communication issue.

My mom went to see what was up with my dad, how he was doing, and when she showed up, he told her she didn't need to see him right then and she had better leave. He was having to drink barium at that moment and feared he would be sick and that is what she didn't have to see. I hope that long before I am eighty, I don't give a shit about such things.

so my mom is out at the nurse's station and one of the nurses comments that she is surprised to see her that day, what with Arnold going home tomorrow and everything. My mom went into full blown panic at hearing that because she had finally accepted that my dad is right about her no longer being able to care for him. And here he was getting an MRI. Who knows what would be found that might require a longer hospital stay.

Well, what was found was a brain tumor. Apparently a big one. Inopperable, not that my dad would consent to surgery anyway. Based on his recent rate of decline (I think), the doc estimates 3-5 weeks. "And you know how they pad those figures to comfort the family," added my mother.

It's such a dilemma, this long distance assisting. There is a lot of crap I can help my mom do, if she will let me. I think I am most worried that I will discover she really shouldn't be living alone. That leaves a few unsavory options. I have to be the bad guy and commit her to a facility of some sort. The likes of that covered be medicaid. Where she lives, that might be the worst option. I think here in Houston, the state facilities likely have a wait list. And the private facilities are too costly. The only other option I see is the bad dream I have had a time or two. Oh my god, what if she had to come live with us?

We would figure it out, I am sure, but let's just hope for now that it isn't the issue at hand when I go north. I could go tomorrow if I had to, but what is the wisdom of going sooner to have to turn around in 3-5 weeks and go again? Yes, I would see my dad again before he dies, but he doesn't want to be seen. I feel that if I go sooner, it is more to be company for my mom and see what I can help her negotiate.

I know when I go for the funeral(such that it will be, likely more a memorial service) I will have to stay for a couple of weeks. Then I think I will have to go back again for a couple of weeks subsequently.

Too many what ifs to even begin to wrap my brain around, yet I am thinking I will be going. Maybe on a buddy pass. Maybe next week. Maybe...